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January 5, 2020

Dimitar Kuzmanov

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

D. KUZMANOV/A. Cozbinov

6-1, 7-5

Team Bulgaria - 1

Team Moldova - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously you had a tough match the other day. Today you got out there, got out to a pretty healthy lead and he fought back pretty hard. How happy are you to get through for your country?
DIMITAR KUZMANOV: Oh, probably I'm the happiest person right now (smiling). As I was giving the interview on the court with one of your colleagues, I totally forgot that this is also my first ATP match win.

I didn't think about it at all. I was really, really focused only about my game, just stick with it, the plan, the game plan we had. I think it was working pretty well.

I was playing really, really solid, really committed to everything throughout the match until set and 4-1. Then I got tight, and I give him chances to step in, relax a little bit more.

Of course he started hitting the ball harder. He had nothing to lose, down set and 4-1. So the pressure was on me.

But at the end I'm really happy I managed to keep it. And even though I was 5-4, three match points in a row, came back, rebreak him on 5-All with some good passing shots, and really happy. Really happy that I deal with the pressure, because it's not easy. It's not easy to play first match always, as a No. 2 player, and especially I'm still getting used to everything here, around here, and that level.

But as I said, learning, even though from the first match, tough match, lost, but I'm learning. I'm learning and I'm feeling better and better every day here and on court. At the end, the most important thing is that I managed to pull this one.

Q. How nice is it to have Grigor's coach, Christian, there? And part of the team zone is that anyone can help you. I noticed he was really helping you. How nice was that for you?
DIMITAR KUZMANOV: It's amazing, as I said also during the first match when Grigor was there. Obviously it's really tough for him to manage all the things by himself, because he also has to warm up, to get focused before his match.

And as it happened the first day, as it happened today, he had to leave after the first set. But I already knew that, because we were discussing it. Every time I'm either sit up or sit down, he has to go to get focused, to get prepared for the match. But Chris is always there.

And I'm really happy for that, because Chris is a great coach. He stick really well with the team. It looks like he's Bulgarian. He had the same team spirit, the same commitment, the same energy. Everyone gets with him so well on the team.

I'm really happy to have not only Grigor in the box but Chris as well. As you can see during the points and during the whole match, he's really committed, and you can feel the energy.

Q. There were some really passionate and loud Bulgarian fans in the crowd today. They were chanting your name. How amazing was that for you? And did that push you in those tough moments when it looked like Alex was going to come back?
DIMITAR KUZMANOV: Yeah. Everything we do here is because of the fans. The fans, not only Bulgarians, I mean, of course, but all the fans who are here in the stadium, you saw how many people that were here in our first tie against Great Britain, I heard there were more than 6,000 spectators for Day 1 (smiling).

We are just really happy to be here. A lot of Bulgarians live in Australia, and a lot of people came from different cities around the country just to see us, to cheer for us.

I know for them it's a great experience and great emotions, and every time I looked up to them in those tough moments during the match, they are the big reason for everything I do and for everything the team does here. Not only for them but for the whole nation back home. I just spoke with some -- I just spoke with my family and one of the most important people to me on the phone, and back home it's really late. I think it's, like, 4:00 in the morning already, and no one sleeps. No one sleeps.

We were joking that we haven't seen these emotions back home since the 1994 World Cup when no one was sleeping and the whole country was just watching. It's just great energy that we feel. Not only here but home it's thrilling. It's just goosebumps. It's just amazing.

Q. Speaking of that, 1994 is quite a long time ago. So does that just sort of show what kind of a platform this event gives to countries like Bulgaria to do something special for your country?
DIMITAR KUZMANOV: Yes, it's really special, and as I said, this event, it's so special. It's so special, because it give chances to smaller nations and not so well recognized players probably as I am, as Cozbinov is.

You saw when he did in the first day against Darcis. No one expected. No one probably have heard about him. But they played three hours, and the commitment the teams has is amazing.

I think it's good for the public to see those kinds of players, because as you see, the difference is not big. As you saw it the match I had against Norrie, there is pretty much no difference.

So I think it's good for the whole tennis and for the fans to watch players like me, to watch players from different nations. The more, the better, I think. The more, the better. And everyone just gives the energy for the country.

I'm pretty sure that Moldova or every nation who is participating here, the emotions are pretty much the same. Doesn't matter the size of the country or the traditions in tennis the country has. It's just amazing, and just living the dream being here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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